04 January 2016

Arroyo Burro

Santa Barbara front country

The rain did not start at midnight and it is still somewhat warm and sunny and I could jaunt at least a little way up the hill before the green shadow passing Lompoc on the weather map gets to here. I almost take the turn for Gibraltar Road before remembering where I am headed up by the water filtration plant. So off I go, on the still quite dry trail. The poison oak is almost entirely dormant making the picnic table in the middle of it look much more inviting. The junction to start up Arroyo Burro instead of Jesusita is still marked. There is plenty of dirt beside the steep paved road to walk on and it remains well marked, too. With the utility road section, it all seems steeper and harder than I remember. Maybe that easy slope yesterday spoiled me for this. Whatever, it does give ample opportunity to just turn around and try to take in what may be the most expansive views of the city that the trails have to offer.

Cathedral Peak
The cathedral sized cave below the Cathedral Peak high point is quite clearly visible from this vantage point.

light patterns
The light is so often amazing in the winter time.

The route does not ease off as the utility road ends. The trail clambers up through rocks and then higher still. There are a few perches along the way. It is quite the workout.

autograph rock
Clambering past Autograph Rock. Hey, it is still graffiti even if it is not your name.

rocky outcrop
Lots of rocky outcrops along the way.

along the ridge
Looking back down the utility road to the city below.

Of course, what goes up must come down. After my play at climbing, I have to turn around and drop again. It is steep enough that I am a little sorry I did not bring my sticks to help. There seems to be a rain shadow off over the ocean to the west. Rain should be coming soon.

maybe rain over Goleta
It looks like there might be light rain out there, over the ocean and getting to Goleta.

Although I am taking my time, the rain does not arrive. Or perhaps it is just so light and the area so dry that it is not reaching the ground yet. Instead, I am only treated to colored clouds while the sun is still rather high in the sky.

pink clouds
False sunset from the Jesusita section of the trail.

©2016 Valerie Norton
Posted 6 Jan 2016

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